For those who are not interested in the San Francisco Forty-Niners versus the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl 47, maybe a nice weekend airline mileage run to Istanbul would fit the bill. Turkish Airlines is having a MONSTROUS blue light sale and the going rate from O’Hare is only about $500 RT, which gets you 11,476 miles for a 4.7 cpm. Located in the center of the Old World, Istanbul is one of the world’s great cities famous for its historical monuments and magnificent scenic beauties. It is the only city in the world which spreads over two continents: it lies at a point where Asia and Europe are separated by a narrow strait – the Bosphorus. Istanbul has a history of over 2,500 years, and ever since its establishment on this strategic junction of lands and seas, the city has been a crucial trade center.
The historic city of Istanbul is situated on a peninsula flanked on three sides by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. It has been the capital of three great empires, the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, and for more than 1,600 years over 120 emperors and sultans ruled the world from here. No other city in the world can claim such a distinction. Grandeur defines Istanbul: From architectural icons such as Hagia Sophia to the city’s indomitable traffic, Istanbul pulsates with intensity and splendor.
Touring Istanbul’s ornate houses of worship and palaces could keep history buffs and culture hounds busy for weeks. Most attractions are clustered in the Sultanahmet area, though areas like Beyoglu and Taksim are no less exciting. The Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia are essential, but simply exploring the street traffic and observing daily life here are equally fascinating. Food is a central part of the culture, so menus should be studied just as seriously as a map (which is also a must). You should certainly pick up some souvenirs at the many bazaars around town. And if you have time, stop by a Turkish hamam (bath) for a soak and a massage — recent travelers recommend the Süleymaniye Hamam.
|Chicago (ORD) to Istanbul (IST) – Fri, Feb 1|
|Chicago (ORD) to New York (LGA) – Fri, Feb 1|
|United 426||Dep: 10:53AM||Arr: 1:59PM|
|Layover in LGA|
|This flight contains airport changes|
|Newark (EWR) to Istanbul (IST) – Fri, Feb 1|
|United 904||Dep: 5:15PM||Arr: 10:05AM|
|Sat, Feb 2|
|Istanbul (IST) to Chicago (ORD) – Sun, Feb 3|
|Istanbul (IST) to Newark (EWR) – Sun, Feb 3|
|United 905||Dep: 12:05PM||Arr: 4:35PM|
|Layover in EWR|
|Newark (EWR) to Chicago (ORD) – Sun, Feb 3|
|United 1437||Dep: 6:10PM||Arr: 7:51PM|